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Cultural Histories

Luton Council worked closely with Luton-based community interest company Cultural Histories who developed a range of 1919 commemoration projects including a Key Stage Two learning pack for schools and a Family Histories project supported by the University of Hertfordshire.

Aims and Objectives

The Cultural History Community Interest Company (CIC) was formed and registered with Companies House in June 2018. Its activities provide benefit to people interested in cultural history of their neighbourhoods and families, particularly but not exclusively the town of Luton in Bedfordshire.

Initial Focus

The initial focus of the CIC was to develop a programme of commemorative projects around the 100th anniversary of the Luton Peace Riots that took place in July 1919.

Initial Projects:

  • collecting, recording and publishing family histories of relatives of people involved in the peace riots, plus the publication of the authoritative study of the peace riots ‘Where They Burnt Down The Town Hall’;
  • commissioning the creation of Key Stage 2 national curriculum learning material in relation to citizenship and social responsibility using the peace riots as the theme;
  • commissioning a new song telling the story of the peace riots, which was learnt and performed by 1000 local school children;
  • created an art installation with a protest theme, which was publicly displayed.

To deliver these projects we have received funding from the Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Beds and Luton Community Foundation and London Luton Airport.

Our partners have been the University of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, the Chiltern Learning Trust, the Luton Music Service, Luton Borough Council and Luton Culture.

We're a lot of Jolly Fellows - spoken by Richard Sisson

'Richard Sisson created the words for the song ‘We’re A Lot of Jolly Fellow’ which tells the story of the 1919 Peace Riots, the iMovie features Richard reading the words of his song, to the photographs that appeared in the book, “Where They Burnt Down the Town’. The movie also includes the chorus to the song, sung by Luton School Children. The movie acknowledges the support from our partners and funders and the permission to display the photographs ©Luton Culture and the Luton News’.